I feel like I do this everytime, but I’m so sorry I haven’t been active lately. I just haven’t felt inspired by makeup or purchased any new products. But, stay tuned because I’m already getting into my Halloween ideas!
I wanted to talk about something different with you guys. Well, it’s mostly just that I wanted to get this out for myself. I’ve lived in North Carolina for about fifteen years, and before that, lived in Queens, NY. It was a drastic change at the age of ten, to go from an extremely diverse place, to a small rural town, outside of Asheville.
I’m Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese to be more specific, the general term is West Indian. Basically, when the British ruled India, they took indentured slaves to Guyana, which is in South America, telling them they would only be there for five years, but then extended it to ten years if they wanted a free trip back, and basically, my ancestors stayed. My parents and their families came to the U.S., around the late 80’s and early 90’s. Anyway, here I am, Charlotte-based Indo-Guyanese blogger.
I just feel some regrets, because from age ten, when I arrived into NC, to probably twenty years old, I just didn’t feel like explaining what West Indian or Guyanese meant, so I would just say is was Indian. Technically, it’s not a lie, but it’s not exactly the truth. It was just easier to say, because I was already the odd one out. I just felt like I was being fake, because I didn’t know much about East Indian culture, I knew about West Indian and Guyanese culture.
It was my first or second day of 5th grade, a kid came up to me and said he didn’t like “sand n-word(s).” I had no idea what he was talking about. I think back then we used Yahoo search, and when I searched the term, it basically said a derogatory term for someone from the Middle East. I remember thinking “What the heck, I’m not from the Middle East“. That was the first time I realized people were grouping me based on how I look.
Another time, we had a soldier from Iraq come in and talk to the class about the army and the culture of Iraq. I believe this was the 5th grade as well, and he was talking about their marriage customs. He said “Over there, they do arranged marriages.” He made eye contact with me, and he just had to add “You must know all about that”. Keep in mind, I was an extreme introvert, never raised my hand in class, extremely quiet and didn’t want any attention on me whatsoever. It was so embarrassing, and having my classmates come up to me after and say “I can’t believe you have an arranged marriage”, was just the worst. If someone said something like that to me today, I would definitely give them some lip and education, but I was just a kid that got singled out and because of how I looked, this adult just assumed I had to have an arranged marriage.
Skip forward to college, (yeah I decided to skip through all my awful experiences). I was pretty outspoken by college, but still didn’t really elaborate or learn much about my Guyanese heritage. I made a few friends, and those friends were pretty open and had a more diverse look of the world. I felt comfortable to say I was West Indian, and to my surprise, they were actually interested in it, and when I said I was Guyanese, they didn’t try to correct me into saying Ghana. They just asked more about how my family got there. It made all the difference, and I wish I had people like that to be a little more open with when I was younger.
One of my friends is Caucasian, and she’s from New Mexico. She said whenever she tells anyone she’s from there, they ask questions like “Do you speak Spanish?” or “You don’t look Mexican”…I cracked up a little bit, but it’s also so sad to know real people say things like this. Another one of my friends, whose actually Mexican, gets “You don’t look Mexican” a lot, because she’s got light skin. Whenever I told people I was Indian, I would get “You don’t look Indian. Are you sure you’re not Latina?” It just blows my mind that people don’t realize that there isn’t a set look or skin tone for a certain nationality or race, it just varies.
Sorry, this turned into a small rant, I just needed to get it off my chest. Let me know what thoughts you have on this!
P.S. I’ll be changing my site soon, so it’ll have a different look. I’ll still do beauty posts, but I want to discuss a variety of topics, not just beauty! Hope you don’t mind! 😊